La Dolfina wins; will defend Argentine Open Championship

La Dolfina
wins; prepares to defend their 2011 Argentine Open title

Alex Webbe

The much anticipated Argentine Open semifinal between
Piaget Pilara and La Dolfina on the Number 1 field at Palermo got off to a
tenuous start, with La Dolfina scoring early and taking the first lead of the
game.  At the end of the opening chukker
Pilara Piaget trailed by a single goal, 2-1.

It is still early, but it appears that La Dolfina doesn’t
want to make the mistake of allowing Pilara Piaget to stay in the game this
time.  Three unanswered goals by La Dolfina
in the second chukker have Pilara Piaget trailing 5-1 after the second period.

Get ready to see the full force of the La Dolfina attack.  After three chukkers La Dolfina is leading a
disparaged Pilar Piaget team, 8-2. 
Although Pilara Piaget isn’t out of it yet, La Dolfina looks to be staking
their claim on the Argentine Open trophy this afternoon.

A persistent Pilara Piaget regrouped for the fourth
chukker, outscoring La Dolfina for the first time all day, 3-1, and cutting the
lead to four goals, 9-5 to end the first four chukkers of play.

It was only a month ago when the two teams last met, and
La Dolfina held a three goal lead (10-7) over Pilara Piaget in the semifinals
of the Hurlingham Open.  La Dolfina managed
a 17-16 win, but surrendered three goals to Pilara Piaget in the final chukker
without firing back offensively.

Pilara Piaget has been the only team that has truly
tested La Dolfina this season (not including Ellerstina’s early one goal Tortugas
Open win).  It’s apparent that La Dolfina
doesn’t want any of it today.  La Dolfina
entered the second half ready to play all eight chukker and outscored Pilara
Piaget 4-2 for a six goal, 13-7 advantage at the end of the fifth chukker.

After five chukkers in their last meeting with Pilara
Piaget, La Dolfina led by a single goal, but they look like they’re rehearsing
for the finals today.  La Dolfina outscored
Pilara Piaget 4-1 in the sixth chukker to take a commanding nine goal, 17-8
lead with two periods to play.

Pilara Piaget managed to get a handle on La Dolfina in
the seventh, but outscoring the 40-goal machine 2-1 this late in the game is a
lesson in futility.  After seven chukkers
of play, La Dolfina sits on top of an eight goal, 18-10 score.

Pilara Piaget shutout La Dolfina in the final chukker of
Saturday afternoon’s semifinal match, but it made little difference.  The three unanswered goals scored by Pilara
Piaget merely cut the La Dolfina winning to five goals in the 18-13 La Dolfina victory.

The win boosts La Dolfina into a position to defend its
2011 title while awaiting the outcome of Sunday’s action to see who they might
be facing.

18, MAGUAL 16

In an earlier match, Alegria (0-2) faced Magual (0-2) in
a game played for mere pride Saturday afternoon on the Number 2 grounds at
Palermo in Buenos Aires.  Alegria (Agustin
Merlos, Lucas Monteverde, Pite Merlos and Fred Mannix) took an early lead,
outscoring Magual 3-1 in the opening chukker of play.

Magual (Alejandro Muzzio, Facundo Sola, Marcos Di Paola
and Jaime Huidobro) stormed back in the second period, outscoring Alegria
4-2.  At the end of the second chukker it
was all even at 5-5.

Alegria’s defense tightened in the third as a frustrated
Magual attack was shut out.  Two unanswered
goals from Alegria had them out in front, 7-5, after three chukkers.

Magual opened the fourth chukker with a score, cutting
the Alegria lead to a single goal, 7-6. 
Alegria fought back with a goal of their own to put themselves on top by
two goals, 8-6.  Undeterred, Magual scored
again, Alegria continued to lead, 8-7.  Alegria
didn’t miss a beat, adding another goal to their total for a 9-7 lead.  Magual responded with another score to trail
buy a single goal once again, 9-8 to end the first half.

A confident Alegria took the field in the second half,
scoring the opening goal, for a two goal, 10-8 advantage.   Magual
answered with a goal and they trailed Alegria by a single goal again, 10-9.  Alegria cranked it up a notch, outscoring
Magual in the final minutes of the fifth and taking a 12-9 lead.

The sixth chukker was give and take.  Alegria tried to shut the door on Magual, but
there was no quit on the Magual team. 
Although Magual couldn’t cut into the Alegria lead, they stayed within
striking distance.  The sixth chukker
ended with Alegria enjoying a three goal lead, 14-11.

Magual cut the Alegria lead to a pair of goals, 14-12 in
the opening minutes of the seventh chukker. 
The momentum swung back and forth, with Alegria holding on to the lead,
16-14 with one chukker left to play in regulation time.

The tone of the game continued into the final
chukker.  Magual cut the Alegria lead to
a single goal, 16-15, with the first goal of the eighth, but Alegria responded
with a goal of their own, 17-15.  A
second straight goal from Alegria extended the lead back to three goals, 18-15.  Magual didn’t roll over, coming back with a
goal, 18-16, but with two minutes left in the game, that was as close as they
would come.  Alegria rode off the field
with the 18-16 win.